WASHINGTON (Dec. 30)
State Department press officer Henry Suydam indicated today that American munitions shipments to Egypt are under consideration.
Mr. Suydam was asked about a London report which told of British concern lest the United States announce a program of military assistance to benefit Egypt without waiting for the outcome of current anglo-Egyptian negotiations on the Suez Canal issue. He said “the whole question of aid to Egypt has been under continuous examination here at the State Department.”
Declining to further elaborate on the nature of assistance under consideration, Mr. Suydam would say only that he was authorized to make known that Egypt is now receiving $16,000,000 in technical assistance for the fiscal year ending June 30. This sum, he said, was devoted to agricultural development.
It was learned from authoritative State Department sources today that the United States has already informed Great Britain of its decision to send arms and dollar aid to Egypt. This move is taking place despite British objections arising from the present tense negotiations between Great Britain and Egypt involving the Suez Canal Zone.
The assistance planned for Egypt was said to include various categeries of heavy munitions as well as dollar aid to bolster the Egyptian economy. Negotiations have been in progress on this question for some time with the Egyptian military attache in Washington, in close consultation with Department of Defense officials. The Egyptian Ambassador recently returned to Cairo to make a personal report to Premier Naguib on the progress of developments.
The Mutual Security Act passed by the last congressional session includes $30,000,000 in military aid available to the Arab states, Israel, and Pakistan with actual disbursement of this sum subject to the discretion of the State Department.